As online shopping booms.

Australia Post has installed a new parcel processing machine at its Strathfield facility in Sydney to help meet the growing demands of online shopping.

The new automation equipment – part of a $300 million national investment over the next 18 months – will process 10,500 parcels an hour, significantly increasing parcel processing numbers for New South Wales residents.

Australia Post Group Chief Operating Officer, Bob Black, said the investment is part of the company’s ongoing efforts to meet continuing parcel growth, with Australians spending $21.3 billion on goods online last year, up 18.7% on 2016.

“It’s no secret that online shopping in Australia is growing. Consumers are buying more and more online internationally and domestically, and as a result we are processing and delivering more parcels than ever before,” Black said.

“Last year we experienced our biggest Christmas peak period ever, delivering over 37 million parcels nationally in December alone, including a record 2.5 million parcels in a single day, and we know this year will be even bigger.

“This new automated machinery is great news for residents in New South Wales, where our research shows online shopping grew 21.1% last year. It also means we are providing a safer working environment for everyone, with automation reducing manual handling and the risk of injury.”

The new sorter at Strathfield is one of many infrastructure upgrades planned over the next 18 months, including an automated, parcel delivery centre scheduled to be operating in Chullora in time for Christmas.

New satchel and small packet sorters will also be installed in Brisbane and Melbourne, which combined with Strathfield, will be capable of processing more than 40,000 parcels an hour, significantly increasing Australia Post’s processing capacity and improving service standards.